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Cultural change essays For nations to form, the people living in them had to become unified. This was difficult to accomplish as long as large groups of people lived virtually isolated from the cities of their country. Peasants in Western countries lived a life of bare subsistence at the beginning of the 19th century, often with a simple shelter, no furniture, and no change of clothes. Every stick of wood and stone placed around a fire was a precious commodity, and they could not ACT for Free except looking at issues in ACT for Free very concrete and practical way. It did not matter what a government official in a city many miles away the peasant would never see thought the peasant should be doing. The peasant had to do what was most likely to keep him and his family alive. They were self-sufficient, and any suggestion that implied living in some other way must have seemed reckless and dangerous. For the entire country to pull together with a sense of nationalism required that they have a sense that they were all part of the same thing. This perception gradually grew during the last third of the 19th century in France as improved transportation brought urban concepts to previously isolated people. Until then, France was a country divided by regions in a very basic sense. France's unity was a governmental one, not a cultural one. Poverty as experienced by peasants was relative. If a person didn't know he "should" have a bed, he didn't feel impoverished by his pile of leaves. As the perceptions of what one needed spread from the French cities and towns to the wild countryside, perceptions about need changed. As economics improved for the French peasants, they began to acquire thing that used to be available only to the urban middle class, such s New law to crack down on вЂessays for saleвЂ™ changes of clothes. The desire for these items demonstrated an increased shared culture among all the citizens. Cultural traditions and perceived needs are more importa.